Summary: Just as paul and the early church faced persecution, so do we today. How shall we deal with it?
How to Deal with Persecution
Pastor Mark Olson
Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus
will be persecuted.
Promise: You will face rejection and suffering because of your Christian faith.
What is Persecution? Hebrews 10:32-34
Persecution can be...
Persecution = To suffer ill treatment because you are a Christian.
How Paul Dealt with Persecution
1. He focused on those who were receptive vv 6-8
Shook out his clothes = symbolic demonstration that he was no longer responsible for those who rejected the gospel (Acts 13:51)
2. He cried out to God v 9
Paul prayed… sought God… waited on God… heard from God
Paul faced fear and discouragement...needed to be encouraged
3. Paul was certain of his calling
Paul understood he was called to proclaim Christ...no matter what!
Paul committed his life to God’s keeping
Lessons: 1. Know when to call it quits & move on
2. Lord is an ever constant source of strength & hope
3. We are called to proclaim Christ – so let your light shine!
How We Should Deal with Persecution
Luke 6:27-28 Overcome the persecution spirit
Love your persecutor:
Do good...not hate
Pray for...not mistreat
Do to them as your want ot be done to you v 30
Lesson: Do not allow yourself to be sucked into a dog-eat-dog focus
1 Peter 3:13-16 Commit Yourself Totally to Christ
You are already blessed v 14
Do not fear what people can do to you v 14
Set Christ apart in your hearts v 15
Commit your life totally to God’s care & perfect will
Focus on pleasing Christ, not people
Give an answer for your hope in Christ vv 15-16
Do so with respect...keeping conscience clear
1 Peter 4:12-19 Your Suffering is a Participation in the Sufferings of Christ
You are not being picked on by God v 12
You will be rewarded when Christ returns v 13
Attitude is the key to victory vv 15-16
Persecution demonstrates your faith is genuine v 17
Commit yourself to God & good works v 19
Church historian Bruce Shelley:
“The main cause of the hatred of early Christians in Roman society lies in their distinctive lifestyle. ‘We have the reputation,’ says Tertullian, of living aloof from the crowds.” (Church History, 53)
Early Christians stood out because of their godly lifestyle - result: they were persecuted for being different.
May we follow in their footsteps and be different in our culture.